Monday, December 27, 2010

GameLog 177 & 178

Batheo (15h) - New online game that has more focus on battles and tactical setup than simple time-based progression. Managed to jump into the start of the second server where they had a competition for the first 10 to get to the end of the second campaign. Managed to get into the top 10 on score, but was ~13th to beat Paris.

Fantasy Wars (14h) - Looked very similar to Elven Legacy, and turns out it's a precursor to it. Mechanics seem very similar, but the graphics have been smoothed over in Elven Legacy. Still worth a shot.

Minecraft (11h) - Took up most of the Christmas LAN building up an old settlement. With monsters and damage enabled on the server, it's a different, more exciting game (with even more potential for griefing). Built up Teldrassil

Reign: Conflict of Nations (8h) - Started a couple of times. First I missed where the tutorial was taking me, then had issues trying to go to war with someone who had already decalered war with me. In the end it seems less that Knights of Honor, which is less than Crusader Kings in dynasty management.

Dawn of War II (5h) - Bit more last stand while waiting for the LAN to kick in, as well as a few multiplayer games.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (5h) - Into Feralas.

Dwarf Fortress (4h) - Fleshymines, Pop 52. Broke through to the first cave, and managed to get out before opening it up totally. Dug down another route to get a barracks set up overlooking an entrance to the caverns.

Delve Deeper (3h) - Great little boardgame-like indie game picked up for Cameron.

Gran Turismo 5 (1h) - Played a little on the big screen at work on the last day.

League of Legends (1h) - single game at the breakup LAN. Pretty laggy for 5 people on the one connection.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Games of the year

That was ... wierd. I just finished voting in the AusGamers game of the year and, although I've played well over 50 different games this year, I found myself skipping almost all the categories. Shooters? Nup, only TF2 needs to be on my rotation to get my fill. Racing? Lots of that, but GT5 is leaving a sour taste in my mouth, and TM Nations is the only one I've been constantly going back to. Handhelds? No iPhone games in the list, and too many to really pull one out (maybe NinJump, but that's really because it's currently in the frontal cortex).

One thing I did notice was that of the AAA games I did own that made the list I felt a little underwhelmed by, which makes giving the nod to a game I didn't even buy seem overly optimistic about how they play too.

I felt the same way when surveying the roguelike game of the year voting over at ASCII Dreams. I played a handful, but really didn't have a standout apart from returning to the well of Dwarf Fortress again and again.

Maybe it's the whole indie scene that gets game of the year?

In a couple more days I'll do a time based summary of the year by tallying up the GameLogs. I'm of the opinion that the game that can keep my attention the longest is as likely a candidate as any for GotY. I'm guessing League of Legends will be one of the frontrunners, and I'm happy with that.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

AR Drone

MUST... BUY... !!!
.. Sandy says no :(

Monday, December 13, 2010

GameLog 175 & 176

Dawn of War II - Chaos rising (27h) - Picked up an 8 pack for all & sundry. Played through the first mission of the expansion beofre realising I'd rather go back and build up my chars through the original scenario. Just about complete now with most above the level 18 starting level for new chars in Chaos Rising. Winning most abattles , although somewhhat slowly, but losing defense missions badly. Finally got terminatr armour and that made the difference. Played a couple of Last Stand and comp-stomp multiplayer games too.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (18h) - Got very annoyed that the expansion had to download an additional 4Gb the day before it released (meaning ~10Gb for the month and additional limits paid for), then found out that it didn't come with any game time, then missed the launch because the login client wasn't responding. All in all a very poor launch and took the edge off my enthusiasm to get back into the game. Later on I found myself getting tired well before midnight. Not an obvious sign, but I usually have to wrench myself away from games to get to sleep by 2ish, so to me it means that the gameplay just isn't there anymore. It's definitely worth it for the co-op play with Sandy, but I give it a month, maybe 2.

Dwarf Fortress (8h) - New fortress on the laptop to take into work: Fleshymines

Patrician 4 (7h) - Steam sale. Plays pretty slowly and found myself falling asleep, or wondering what else is on sale.

Gran Turismo 5 (3h) -Finally got the wheel, but it's not that big of a difference. Couldn't get anywhere near my time on the Top Gear Elise challenge, but at least I wasn't sliding all over the place. Loading times are a killer though. They are long enough to look for other things to do, like flip over to TV, or play DF on the laptop.

Bejewelled Blitz (2h) - More matching mayhem.

Various Facebook games (5h) - After the lament about facebook games and the development of Notorious, I spent a while looking through lots of different facebook games for something with gameplay. Anything. Backyard monsters looked pretty interesting and very similar in concept to notorious, apart from being stuck in a number of FB tropes. Kongregate is still looking like the place for innovative games, but the just aren't making the transition to FB, or the search / broadcast is so weak that I'm not finding them.

A thing for Hematite

Ebalromek, "The Revered Length", a hematite coffer
This is a Hematite coffer. All craftsdwarfship is of the highest quality. It is encrusted with hematite. This object menaces with spikes of hematite. On the item is an image of "The Revered Length" the hematite coffer in hematite.
Wow, this dwarf had a thing for hematite ... and recursion.

Playing through Dwarf Fortress again as a lunchfiller at work and after losing 2 dwarves to madness, I finally have an artifact to grace the halls. We have a population of over 50 at the moment and are just getting into our second year at "Fleshymines".

There's been a little altercation with goblin thieves with VERY sharp knives (resulting in a number of reduced appendage dwarves), but apart from that it's been going pretty well. Managed to get an underground farm working fairly quickly as well as most initial services. There's only been one caravan so far though, so there's masses of mechanisms and toys clogging up the place. Opened out a large cavern directly under the trade depot so that most stuff is within easy hauling distance when one finally arrives.

Our position is slightly elevated abover the river too, so I managed to dig out an underground channel at river level to a spot under the new dining hall. Hit an aquifer layer on that level (and possibly higher) too, so the new hall has both aquifer and channeled in fresh water.

A couple of ghosts are making a nuisance of themselves so I might have to make a new area for burial. I wonder if they like recursion too?

Monday, December 06, 2010


A game where you build dungeons, raid the locals, and fend off heroes to become the most notorious in the land.

Facebook implementation:
The problem with most new games is that they either follow the social obligation path of Farmville or the energy-as-limitation with artificial missions akin to Mafia wars. I want to design a game where the interaction between players is a little more meaningful, and the interaction with the game is not as artificially limiting.

Even though the digging out of dungeons and conducting of raids takes time, the planning is freely available at any time, as well as the interaction with other dungeons through heroes and the rumour system. Matters still need to be addressed as things may not go to plan on the raids, diggers may strike unknown obstacles (monster pits / gold veins), or new areas need to be designated once dug out. There should be enough activity for new players and invested players to be able to play as long as they like, but players seeking only small doses of fun can still plan out a fair way into the future, and also have many things to do when returning from a period of time away.

Most monster contracts and built areas are designed to be replenished over time, so the dungeon will settle about a certain level of notoriety if left alone for an extended period. Heroes will attempt the dungeon at somewhat regular intervals (~1/2 hr?), and non-returning heroes will raise the notoriety of the dungeon, which in turn inspires higher level heroes to attempt the dungeon. Once a high enough hero comes through to wipe out all the monsters and take most of the gold / equipment away, the notoriety drops so that minor heroes will attempt it next time.

Things to do
Build a Dungeon
Conduct Raids
Hire Mercenaries
Buy / Sell Equipment
Ransom Prisoners
Bribe Heroes
Listen to Rumours / Spread Rumours
Replay events
View Highscores

Build Dungeon
- Pick starting location (allow restart / multiple dungeons?)
- Designate areas to be mined out
- Designate a room (Storage / bedroom / training room / patrol room / eating / vault)
- Start with dirt around entrance, but get into different types of stone further in, with gold / gem seams / caves / ravines / streams. Stone needs mining equipment and a lot more time to get through. Gold seams could take a long time to go through, so they provide a steady source of income

Conduct Raids
- Capture prisoners. Designate prison areas. If area contains digging designations, prisoners will also dig. Each prisoner has a name / occupation and a bounty that is used for notoriety
- Target equipment / gold
- Spreading chaos. Raises Notoriety. Increases happiness for chaos creatures.
- present 3 targets with easy / medium / hard options. Give percentage chance for success, appproximate time to get there and approximate rewards.

Hire Mercenaries
- Set up contract with goblin camp to provide up to 5 goblins at 1 per hr for a wage of 5 gold per hr each.
- Contract with a Troll for modest lodgings and 40% of all loot found
- Mercs will take wage from whatever drops, or through trips to the vault. No payment angers mercs, granting greater autonomy to take their payment through other means.
- If mercenaries level up while in base, you can attempt to offer them individual contracts
- Provide a choice of 3-5 contracts at the "villians'r'us" trader. Go between for nefarious rulers of the world
- Make names and random stats for mercs. Light hearted like Majesty.

Buy / Sell Equipment
- Purchase goods through middle man
- Sell manufactured items and old items from heroes to black market

Ransom Prisoners
- Negotiate through ransom broker
- Ransom for prisoners continues to rise from their base level (set by profession/level), giving bigger rewards, more notoriety, but also more incentive for heroes.

Bribe Heroes
- Pay minimal cost to cast spell of seeing on hero so that you can observe what someone's dungeon setup is like.
- Can organise a more tougher hero than the dungeon warrants if you pay the difference. This should allow even level 1-2 players to see what a level 20 dungeon is like from both the hero and dungeon creators perspective. Negotiate deal to split profits for upfront cost.
- Cast spell of control to give player the choices the hero would have automatically made. (Move to grid coord / fight / search / free prisoner)

Listen to Rumours / Spread Rumours
- Find out what townsfolk have to say about your dungeon. Multiple perspectives available to hear different variants, plus a general consensus of notoriety.
- Choose rumours by dungeon (player) / monster / town / hero / prisoner / rumour type
- Heroes use the rumour system to pick their next targets.
- Information leaks through public interaction of your dungeon with the town, as well as returning heroes.
- Spread rumours allows the player to either agree or disagree with certain rumours (through a conversation with townsfolk, with chance of them believing) or make their own rumours up. Allows the user to control the notoriety of their dungeon (and other people's dungeons) and tailor the types and level of heroes that attempt to take on their dungeon.

Replay events

- review events hapening in your dungeon since you were away
- sort by time / level of importance / characters involved / room involved

View Highscores
- sort by highest level of hero killed (main criteria) / current notoriety /notoriety change / rumoured wealth / rumoured size